Grandin Village in the Snow
Left: Another view of Grandin Village in the snow. Right: Roanoke's Grandin Road and the Grandin Theater - Morrow's is two doors down. Photo by Stephanie Hardiman.
From home in Roanoke in a loop to Franklin Road and back on Brandon Avenue; then on to Grandin Village and back. About 6.5 miles.
On another big-snow weekend (9.9 inches this time, less than the 17.9 of Dec. 19-20, but still real), we set out from home and with a destination in mind.
Our route took us along city arterials that we had pretty much to ourselves, aside from the occasional plow or good-samaritan four-wheeler. ("Y'all walkin' for fun or you need a ride?") We made our way from our Southwest City neighborhood toward a fantasy we knew wouldn't be there when we got there.
And sure enough, Wildflour Bakery and Restaurant on Fourth Street in the Old Southwest section of the city was as closed up as everything else we'd passed on the way. Our fantasy of a nifty brunch stop gave way to continuing on toward Franklin Road, along it across the Roanoke River and then back up past the Towers Shopping Center toward home.
We stopped by the house long enough to take wacky dog Cookie out into the snow and then went back out, as The Day Hiker is not to be denied the food-stop aspect of every hike we take. And so we set out toward a local institution we had long ignored because of its propensity toward being smoky. But with Virginia's new laws on such, we enjoyed the warm atmosphere, good burgers, cold draft, friendly waitstaff that is Morrow's Community Inn, with a leisurely lunch that featured the Georgetown-Duke basketball game with the president in attendance. One highlight: Play-by-play guy Verne Lundquist, after viewing a tape of President Obama driving to his left for a (missed) layup against the North Carolina squad, said it was clear the prez could go to his left, but the big question was… could he go to his right? The president was somewhere between ready and well-rehearsed: "Well, I did just meet with the House Republican Caucus yesterday."
We spent more of the day back outside, with the dog and with grandsons Aden and Matthew who, on the big Ghent Hill near the Memorial Bridge, built their own mogul partway down the run. As seven-year-olds, they may have gotten more fun out of the building than they did air off the bump.
January 30, 2010